HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Tuesday is not the end for the Clardy family or the Huntsville community.
Although Billy Clardy will be laid to rest, dozens are preparing for a criminal case that could last a decade or more.
“Every time there’s a court appearance, every time there’s something a motion hearing, every time there’s something about this case this family will go through this tragedy again. This community will go through this tragedy again," defense attorney Mark McDaniel said.
McDaniel, who’s tried dozens of capital murder cases, says someone who kills a member of law enforcement will be punished to the fullest extent.
“You cannot have situations where officers are going out just like this case, doing their job, protecting their community and some person decides ‘I’m gonna kill you’, that’s a death penalty case,” McDaniel explained.
McDaniel says in cases like this, you're not deciding innocence or guilt. The jury decides life or death.
However, that process takes an excruciatingly long amount of time.
“If that person gets the death penalty, or anyone gets the death penalty, it’s a long process. Going through all the appeals. Alabama court of criminal appeals, Alabama supreme court, U.S. district court in Birmingham, 11th circuit court of appeals in Atlanta. Now each time I say those words, it could be years,” McDaniel said.
For the death penalty, cases go through this procession of court hearings more than once.
It could be months, years, and maybe even a decade.
The Clardy family will always be missing a hero.
“You don’t have Christmas like you used to, you don’t have Thanksgiving, you don’t have birthday’s like you used to because that part has been ripped out of your life," McDaniel said.